22 March 2010


I was wrong. Spring hadn't arrived yet - I should know better than to declare it so. I can only declare Spring has truly arrived when I get my spring head cold. As of this morning, it has arrived. My head felt like the inside of a particle accelerator, which isn't that great of a feeling. Luckily, my undergrads worked on an Internet activity for our class time so I could do home, take massive amounts of cold medicine and rest. Not exactly how I wanted to spend the first day back from Spring Break. Hm.

A confession? I'm actually glad to be done with break. I'm much more productive when I have tons of things going on - the unstructured nature of breaks doesn't work well with me. I get lots of things done, mind you, just nothing official. Ugh.

Also: chocolate peppermint cupcakes and mocha frosting? Awesome.

21 March 2010

I Won't Worry

Back in the spring of 2004, I would leave my tiny apartment in Mason-Abbott Hall in the wee small hours of the morning and make my way into the heart of Lansing for a day of teaching. I was loving what I was doing: my second graders were awesome, my cooperating teacher was amazing, and I was teaching pretty much all day. Teaching well, I might add. That twenty  minute drive into Lansing proper, however, was an anxious one. With Spring came the end of the school year, meaning I would need to find a teaching position, preferably in my beloved Mitten State. It wasn't a good time to be a beginning teacher in Michigan - the cuts that are now ravaging the system were just beginning and positions were few and far between. My ulcer had kicked into overdrive and I was sending both resumes and graduate school applications into the ether. Anxiety ruled those days. 

During that twenty minute drive, Jason Mraz's The Remedy (I Won't Worry) would often come across the Lansing airwaves and it became something of an anthem. Don't worry the time away. Everything works out. I would sing loudly, alone in my Ford Taurus, and some of the tenseness would leave my shoulders. 

And things did work out. I found a teaching job, a job I loved, and friends and began building a life. I left said job for graduate school. I'm preparing to leave graduate school in a little over a year. The song, it's back. Things will work out again, won't they? 

20 March 2010


(Image from Bauer)

I bought my first pieces of Fiestaware about eight years ago - two juniper place settings that were heavily marked down at Younkers. I was in undergrad at the time and 75% off was the only way I was going to be able to afford the stuff. In the space between those first place settings and now, I've managed to amass a decent-sized collection - snapping up vintage pieces at flea markets and new pieces when they are appropriately on sale. Honestly, though, my passion for the Fiesta has wavered a bit - they've moved away from the more vintage-inspired color palette that drew me to it in the first place and into a rainbow of primary colors. Don't get me wrong: they are beautiful, but not what I love. I still love the Turquoise (please never go out of production!) and miss persimmon and their soft butter yellow like whoa. 
(Image from Bauer)

Then I stumbled on Bauer Pottery, out of LA. I won a lot of various pottery on eBay and there were some Bauer pieces - beautiful colors and just lovely pieces of pottery. A quick Google search revealed they are still making pieces, still in a beautiful array of vintage colors. LOVE. IT. Not that I'm going to throw all my Fiesta into the eBay ether, but golly do I love this stuff. Particularly: the cake stand in aqua makes my knees a little shaky and this cookie jar in orange needs to be in my life. Someday, friends. Someday.

19 March 2010

It's the tail end of Spring Break - the weather is warm and the sun is out. Despite the anger of having to revert back to scheduled days in a matter of two days, it's lovely. 

I first came to IU about three years ago on a day much like today and I find myself still in awe at how beautiful it is. These buildings made of native lime stone, many dating from the WPA, are majestic. There's no other word for it. 

Since it's Spring Break, there are very few students on campus, which gives me some time to appreciate all of it. It's slowly sneaking in: the idea that I will be leaving this space, these buildings soon. 

That is an okay thing.

18 March 2010

Yikes! It's Thursday already! Wherever did my Spring Break go? 

It hasn't been a total wash: there has been writing, there has been some knitting, there has even been some sewing... just not enough of it. I want more, another week of aimless scheduling. I think, in my head, I'm thinking this is my last hurrah, my last bit of aimless scheduling for a while. The summer, hopefully, should be spent working on dissertation collection and wrapping up classwork. Fall has the potential to be busier than the average semester. Spring will be spent writing, editing, and writing some more. It isn't going to get any better than this. 

So I'm going to hit the gym - I haven't been running in months - and correct some student papers. I'm going to spend these last days of break getting things done but at a slower pace. It's going to quicken all too quickly. 

Also: the fabric above? Love it. I found the quarter yard at a flea market a few weeks back and envision a pair of patchwork potholders in my future. Twenty-five cents. Nice. 

12 March 2010

That Conversation

It's been a while since I've teared up while watching Grey's Anatomy. I think the last time was after George's father died and Christina gave him the "Welcome to the Club" talk outside of the hospital. I had just lost my mom and so much of that moment resonated with me. Bring forth the tears.

Last night's episode offered up a more subtle moment that left me verklempt: Arizona telling Torres she didn't want children. That face, the one above? I like to think I am better at hiding my disbelief than my beloved Torres, but I am all too familiar with that face. It's the moment you realize the relationship has an expiration date, much like milk. It's an insanely sad moment because I can feel myself letting go of the other person despite wanting to hold them close as long as I can. But I know I will have to let them go and my systems begin this automatically.

Here's the thing: I want kid. I've built my life around having a kid. I don't want to ensnare someone else into that process who doesn't want to live through that chaos. I want school plays and midnight vomiting, heart breaks and first days of school. Not everyone wants that. I get it, I do. But I want it and I'm not willing to negotiate around it so when I hear those words from the person I am seeing, I begin letting go.

So, yes, I teared up over one of the most melodramatic shows on TV. I'm okay with it and hope it's not going to reflect on my taste level too badly.

10 March 2010

And Just Like That

I was walking to the School of Education this morning and stopped immediately in my tracks when I saw these small crocuses (croci? - what is the plural?) peeking out at me. How had I missed the arrival of Spring? 

Still generally engrossed in busy-ness, although I'm trying to be more thoughtful in the projects I take on. I announced on my Facebook a few days ago that I wouldn't be taking on any additional projects this month unless it added a line to my CV. I hate how harsh it sounds, as though I'm only doing things for the recognition they bring me. Rather, I suffer from a horrible case of Yes Mouth, where I immediately say yes to whatever is asked. Need a quilt block for a caring quilt? Sure! A PDF of that chapter you're too busy to copy and convert yourself? Alrighty! A guest lecture in your class about subject matter you're uncomfortable with? See you on Wednesday! 

Ah, the Yes Mouth. It's gotten me into a lot of trouble and by trouble I mean extra work that gets me no closer to my qualifying exams or data collection. See? Even typing that makes me feel shallow but can't help but feel that I need to begin being a little more selfish with my time if I'm going to get out of here by the end of next year. I need to start saying no. So I began asking myself the CV question before any given request and I can't say that I'm unhappy... I've been reading and writing more and have been slightly less stressed. 

06 March 2010

Um. So, yeah.

Wow. It's been a while. 

Life is oh-so-daily at the moment, with a ridiculous amount of things to be done. I'm at a point of convergence where all the planning for the future and all the previous work collide. It's a messy space to be in, requiring many, many signatures, but it's a good space to be in. My program of studies is in the process of being signed and I'm spending a good portion of the day drafting possible qualifying exam questions. I'm within months of not only being done with classes but with changing my description of self from doctoral student to doctoral candidate. This is assuming, of course, that I pass my qualifying exams and my program of studies isn't rejected. 

I have no reason to believe it will be. I feel like I've done good work over the past three years. There is still so much more to be figured out but I'm in a good position to think through these next steps.